WHO warning on lockdown mental health
The coronavirus crisis and the restrictive measures that many countries are taking to contain the outbreak can have a negative impact on people's mental health and well-being, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned.
"Isolation, physical distancing, the closure of schools and workplaces are challenges that affect us, and it is natural to feel stress, anxiety, fear and loneliness at this time," the director of the European branch of the WHO, Hans Kluge, said on Thursday (26 March).
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As more and more people are obliged to remain in home quarantine or isolation with possible or proven coronavirus infection, experts agree that it is important to consider the effects of this pandemic on the mental health of people - while providing psychological support for the general public.
"It is essential to address the public mental health of people during the following weeks," Kluge said.
"This is not going to be a sprint, but a marathon," he added, urging countries to prepare their medical services for the mental health of people.
According to behavioural psychologist Virgine De Vos, this crisis could generate symptoms of depression or lack of participation over the next weeks.
However, she believes that one of the biggest problems for people's mental wellbeing can be the shortage of testing and lack of diagnosis.
"A lot of people who have symptoms cannot be tested so they do not know if they have coronavirus or not. This [uncertainty] can have a very negative impact on people ...
More on: euobserver.com